Welcome to the House of Fun: Work Space and Social Identity



Baldry C & Hallier J (2010) Welcome to the House of Fun: Work Space and Social Identity. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 31 (1), pp. 150-172.;

Following the diffusion of HRM as the dominant legitimating managerial ideology, some employers have started to see the built working environment as a component in managing organisational culture and employee commitment. A good example is where the work space is designed to support a range of officially encouraged ‘fun’ activities at work. Drawing on recent research literature and from media reports of contemporary developments, this paper explores the consequences of such developments for employees’ social identity formation and maintenance, with a particular focus on the office and customer service centre. Our analysis suggests that management’s attempts to determine what is deemed fun may not only be resented by workers because it intrudes on their existing private identities but also because it seeks to re-shape their values and expression.

commitment; organisational culture; Working environment; offices; Work environment; Corporate culture; Organizational behavior; Personnel management

Economic and Industrial Democracy: Volume 31, Issue 1

Publication date28/02/2010
Publication date online01/12/2009
PublisherSage / Department of Economic History, Uppsala University, Sweden
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Professor Chris Baldry

Professor Chris Baldry

Emeritus Professor, Management, Work and Organisation